(The following press release from BP was received by e-mail and was
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Release Date: October 31, 2013 11:02:49 AM CDT
BP Partners with The University of Texas on Leading-Edge Energy Research
Company commits nearly $4 million for new, jointly administered program
initially focused on BP’s Project 20K™, increased shale gas recoveries and
HOUSTON – BP announced today it will commit $4 million to launch a new
strategic partnership with The University of Texas at Austin to support several
leading-edge oil and gas industry research projects, with the potential for
increased contributions as new studies are identified in the future.
The unique collaboration between the two institutions, which highlights BP’s
ongoing commitment to higher education and research, aims to develop real-world
solutions to a number of technical challenges facing the global oil and gas
industry, both onshore and offshore.
One initial area of focus is related to Project 20K™, a multi-year initiative
announced by BP in early 2012 that seeks to develop next-generation systems and
tools to help unlock the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources,
currently beyond the reach of today’s technology. Accessing these resources is
a key part of BP’s commitment to U.S. energy security.
The University of Texas’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will
work with the Project 20K™ team to study the impact of “human factors” on the
drilling process and the potential for new systems that can enhance safety and
efficiency. A second area of activity will be to develop a reliability
assessment process for BP’s project team to use in quantifying the
“system-level reliability” of Project 20K™ concepts.
Other joint research projects include one that seeks to improve recoveries from
shale gas and oil formations through a deep investigation of fracturing fluids’
impact on well productivity. Another focuses on enhancing early detection of
“kicks” – the sudden influx of hydrocarbons into a well – by using real-time
well data and predictive models to better inform operational decisions, in
support of BP’s commitment to safe and reliable operations.
“This is not just theoretical research,” said James Dupree, BP’s Chief
Operating Officer, Reservoir Development & Technology. “Under this
partnership, we are tackling real-world challenges that, if better understood,
could have far-reaching impacts not only on BP but on the future of global
Administered by a joint governance board, the program has established a
rigorous process for selecting research projects that play to the university’s
world-class strengths in engineering and geosciences as well as meet BP’s
strategic business needs.
BP is funding research in the Cockrell School’s Departments of Mechanical
Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Petroleum and Geosystems
“This partnership allows our faculty and graduate students to solve
challenging, relevant problems in global energy development, to work
collaboratively with leading scientists and engineers from BP, and to see how
their solutions are implemented in a real-world setting,” said John Ekerdt,
associate dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “We look forward to the
new interdisciplinary opportunities our researchers will have to develop
technologies that will have a far-reaching societal benefit.”
While the agreement is initially focused on several specific research projects,
the intent is to establish a long-term partnership between BP and the
University of Texas that is beneficial to both and that could later result in
increased funding. Successes in early projects will help build the basis for
future collaboration, with the ultimate goal of taking the research and
technologies developed through the program from the lab and into the field.
Over the past five years, BP has invested more than $55 billion in the U.S. –
more than any other energy company. BP is the nation’s second-largest producer
of oil and gas and provides enough energy annually to light nearly the entire
country for a year. Directly employing more than 20,000 people in all 50
states, BP supports more than 260,000 jobs in total through all of its business
activities. For more information, view our BP in the US animated video:
Notes to editors:
* BP funds about $100 million in university research, education and
recruitment activity at more than 50 U.S. universities annually.
* In 2012, BP hired over 700 students and graduates in the U.S. for
full-time and intern positions from more than 10,000 applicants.
* BP supports several multiyear research programs by U.S. universities on
subjects ranging from advanced computing and bioscience to unconventional gas,
heavy oil, and rock physics.
* Texas is home to more than 10,000 BP employees and contractors and our
U.S. headquarters. Our operations in the Lone Star State include
petrochemicals, pipelines, oil and gas exploration and production and wind
* The Houston area has the largest concentration of BP employees in the
BP US Press Office
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